CHARDON, Ohio — A Geauga County judge has ruled that the court must make an attempt to seat a jury in the murder case of "Geauga's Baby."
The defendant, 49-year-old Gail Ritchey, faces aggravated murder charges in the death of her newborn baby, which she allegedly left along the side of a Thompson Township road in 1993. When the baby boy's remains were found, no one came forward to claim him.
DNA linked Ritchey to the baby earlier this year after a Nebraska man uploaded his father-in-law's DNA to a website called GEDmatch. Police tracked the man down within months with a family tree linking the father-in-law as a distant cousin to "Geauga's Baby." Ritchey was arrested in June.
Ritchey's attorneys wanted her trial moved, citing the local attention and potential biases surrounding the case, which shook Geauga County. Judge David M. Ondrey ruled this week that the court must attempt to seat an impartial jury, deferring the defense's motion for a change of venue.
Ritchey's trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 27, according to court records.
Investigators say Ritchey confessed to the crime, and also revealed she did something similar with another child. Authorities have not announced any charges related to a second infant death.
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Ritchey's husband, who is the father to her three grown children, has not been charged.